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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Massad Ayoob


Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Two recent high profile shootings show us that sometimes, in the aftermath, things go as they should, though in only one of those actual shootings did we have what anyone could call a happy ending.

Both occurred over the holidays.  In Washington state, an Iraq war vet diagnosed with post traumatic stress syndrome that would normally engender our sympathy, snapped and shot four people. He fled to the boondocks, where he encountered a park ranger, a 32 year old mother of two.  He shot her to death.  The cop-killer was later found dead; it is unclear at this time whether he swallowed poison or froze to death out in the elements, or drowned. (According to one report, he was found face down in a creek. I haven’t seen the autopsy or toxicology screen yet.)

My brother at Second Amendment Foundation, Dave Workman, reports that gun owners have taken the lead in establishing an account for donations to the family of the murdered mom. You’ll find the details here:

In Oklahoma, a man had been stalking an 18-year old mother of a baby boy. Her husband had died of cancer on Christmas day, and some of the German Shepherds she and he raised had mysteriously died – perhaps poisoned by the stalker, some theorize now. As if she had not suffered enough, the stalker and a hulking friend showed up at her door New Year’s Eve and tried to kick their way in.  The young woman armed herself, pushed a sofa against the door, put a bottle in her infant son’s mouth and called 9-1-1. The calm dispatcher advised her to do what she had to do if he made it through the door before the cops arrived.

He did, and she did. She fired a single shotgun blast as the intruder burst through the door with a foot-long hunting knife, plopping him dead on the barricading sofa. His accomplice fled, but was soon in custody. I’m told the local prosecutor has already ruled it a justifiable homicide…and the first to establish a support fund for the young mother was the local PD, the Blanchard, Oklahoma Police Department. Info is here:  Thanks to the retired NYPD officer and gunfight survivor who frequents this blog and sends it along.

Learning points?

n  In each case, the death weapon was a 12-gauge shotgun. Some in the anti-gun camp have already blamed the law that allows ordinary, law-abiding citizens to be armed in parks like the one where the ranger was killed, for the depredations of a madman who had already violated every law from the Sixth Commandment on down before he reached the park. I try not to use words like “idiocy” when speaking of the other side, but in this case it fits. The firearm is a tool, which carries out the will of the owner. Evil in the first case, good in the second. Yes, it IS that simple.

n  The law-abiding armed citizen and the police are natural allies. We see that clearly here, when a gun owners’ civil rights group is the first to step up with a fund for the family of the murdered park ranger…and when the local police are the first to step up to help an embattled young mom who had to kill in self-defense.

I’ll be sending out two donations tomorrow.  I hope all who can, will join me.  A lawyer friend of mine, whose specialty is appeals for citizens wrongly convicted after self-defense shootings, suggests that flowers for the Oklahoma dispatcher and prosecutor might also be in order…


  1. Steve Says:

    Well put Mas!

    Enough said!


  2. Cate Lynn Says:

    Excellent article expresses exactly my point of view. I’d like to offer a small correction, however. The Mt. Rainier shooter was not diagnosed with PTSD, that was a guess by his abused ex-fiancee. In fact, he was dishonorbly discharged due tomultiple offenses. He was not a combat veteran, either. I believe the press got a lot wrong with this story.

  3. Paul Kanesky Says:

    Mas, You are absulutely correct that laws don’t stop crime. Had it still been illegal to carry firearms in national parks I don’t believe that would have stopped the killer or saved the life of the park ranger.
    Paul in Texas

  4. Matt Says:

    Lesson #1: When being stalked, “protective orders” are utterly worthless – when the stalker already is to the point of contemplating felonies such as breaking into your home and murdering you. You don’t need a “protective order” when being stalked; you need a GUN – and knowing how and when to use it.

  5. HaroldB Says:

    The papers here were saying the ranger’s killer used an AR-type rifle. Did he use the Siaga 12ga. shown in his photo instead? Anyway it’s good he’s gone.
    Now with the shooting in Utah and 6 officers shot, the liberals will be screaming for anti-gun legislation, sadly.

  6. Teg Says:

    Good job by the girl in Oklahoma, aside from herself she probably saved a good many other people from future pain and suffering, with her actions.

  7. Frank White Says:

    Being in a national park was possible incidental. If you are going from the Seattle/Tacoma area East over the Cascades, There are two Routes, I-90 and SH 12. SH 12 goes through a corner of the park.

  8. Mike the Limey Says:

    More recent reports say the ranger’s killer was NOT suffering from PTSD & was a REMF who never saw combat.

    Someone screwed up big style in the Utah drugs bust.
    How did they manage to get one killed & five wounded with all the fancy gear & training that has been paid for under the “war on drugs”?

  9. Jack Says:

    I think the young lady did a wonderful job under the stress she was under, keeping her witts about herself and with the tool-(shotgun) she was able to keep her child from becoming parentless.

    My guess as a retired LEO these two thugs knew her husband just passed 4 days prior from cancer, probably coming in to rape her and see if he had any pain meds left around for their high before they killed her with the knief they were carrying. So glad she turned the tables on them. Where are the gun grabbers now???

  10. Mark Says:

    Henderson, NC

    ‘I just shot the man’: Boy, 14, kills intruder after gang of FOUR men try to break into house where he was home alone with his sister

    Yet another teen has used deadly force to protect his home from intruders.

    Police in North Carolina revealed a 14-year-old boy shot dead an intruder attempting to break into his home while he and his sister were alone.

    The teen opened fire with a shotgun while his 17-year-old sister hid in a closet as a gang of men attempted to smash their way into their home.

  11. ralph Says:

    I can’t help but wonder – if the young mother had been in New York rather than OK, would she be now facing a felony for owning a firearm?

    I live in AZ where our right to permit-less carry is guaranteed by law. I feel sorry for folks in states where one must decide between obeying the law and being a potential victim or breaking the law and being a potential felon for carrying. Doesn’t seem fair.

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